Apple dominates the smartwatch market as sales rise despite COVID-19 pandemic, report says

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Smartwatch sales continued to climb during the start of the coronavirus crisis with Apple selling more than three times as many devices as its competitors, according to a new report by research firm Strategy Analytics.

The analytics company issued a report on Thursday claiming that Apple holds a 55% in the smartwatch category followed by Samsung with about 14%. Garmin rose to the third position with 8% of smartwatch sales.

Overall shipments grew 20% over last year, reaching 13.7 million units sold in the first quarter of 2020, the report said. The increasing shipments were driven by online orders.

"Smartwatches are selling well through online retail channels, while many consumers have been using smartwatches to monitor their health and fitness during virus lockdown," said senior analyst Steven Waltzer in a statement.

Fitbit data suggests that people are lounging more, with overall steps down 12% during the pandemic.

Apple sold 7.6 million smartwatches at the top of the year, the Strategy Analytics report said, and the iPhone giant also held the top position in 2019 with 54% of market share.

The analysts project smartwatch shipments slowing in the with retailers largely shut down across Europe and the U.S. However the shipments will pick up steam again once stay-at-home orders are lifted and consumers regain confidence, the report said.

The news comes in stark contrast to smartphone sales, which took an unprecedented hit during the first few months of the year.

The worldwide smartphone market dropped 11.7% year-over-year in the of 2020 during the peak of the lockdowns in China, according to International Data Corp. data.

As supply chains in China got back to business, economies in other parts of the world including the U.S. took a major hit by the pandemic, which caused an onslaught of layoffs and shelter-in-place orders.


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